Choosing to learn a new language is an exciting path to take when it comes to your education, learning how to speak another language is a way to open a multitude of opportunities and doors. However for some students who haven't been learning a second or third language from an early age and can sometimes feel like quite the challenge!

In this article, we're going to go over what you need to know about choosing to study French in Years 11 & 12 in Australia, and where it can take you in the future! Don't forget to check out some of our other articles too which cover preparation for your written and oral exams.

French is a great language to learn given that it's one of the most spoken languages in the world, spoken in approximately over 20 countries across 5 continents. So if you're looking to take your newly learnt language with you outside of Australia once you finish school French could be the perfect language for you!

Find out what to expect when you sign up for Year 11 & 12 French!
French is a language which can take you all over the world and connect with new and exciting people.(Source: Unsplash - Faisal Waheed)
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What do you Learn in VCE, HSC and SACE French?

Across Year 11 & 12 French in high school in Australia, there may be some variation depending on which state or territory you are studying in. For the most part, you can expect to learn broadly similar topics whether you're completing VCE French or HSC French.

It's important that you access your state or territory's curriculum website, for example for VCE French you would want to head to the VCAA website whereas for HSC French you will want to search for the NESA website. Read our article on where to find past exams to learn more about these websites and how they can help you prepare for exam time.

Given that Years 11 & 12 French is studied across two years of school, it is structured into 4 units. This means you will be studying 2 units per year of WACE or VCE study. In Year 11 French marks throughout the year and how well you do on your exam are determined by your school, however in units 3 & 4 in Year 12 French your marks are made up from SACs (School Assessed Coursework) and final end of year examinations.

Some of the themes and subtopics which come under these broader themes include:

  • The individual: i.e. your personal interests
  • Cultures with French as their first or second language: i.e. international and historical contexts for how and why the language is spoken and cultural practices.
  • The global world: i.e. current affairs, politics, media and technology.

Of course, you won't be able to understand any of these themes and subtopics without learning the basic structure of the French language, so get ready to dive into grammar and punctuation to make sure you're on track!

Skills that you need be practicing across the 4 units of French and most likely into university or further academic study include:

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking

If we're diving into the specific grammar that you are expected to understand and identify during examination time at a Years 11 or 12 level you can expect to become very familiar with some of these grammatical terms:

  • Verbs
  • Adverbs
  • Nouns
  • Articles
  • Pronouns
  • Prepositions
  • Conjunctions

Within each of these grammatical terms are many more specifics that you'll have to learn in order to pass your final exams, get ready for the subjunctive and the pluperfect! Don't let this long list of grammar scare you away, you will have an experienced teacher to support your learning and you can always invest in some additional French lessons!

Learning about the grammar of a language like French is an important step to understanding how the language works and how you can start to apply your knowledge to create your own sentences and conversation which sound like you're a native speaker!

Click here to find out more about how you can get ready for exam preparation and boost your confidence so you can go into your exams feeling prepared and proud of the knowledge skills you have learnt.

Become a fluent French speaker
Learn how you can improve your spoken French, and written French to get ready for November examinations, and consider exploring French diplomas and courses you could do once you have finished your studies. (Source: Unsplash -Shawn Lee)

How to Revise my Listening & Comprehension

We've briefly mentioned earlier in this article that you are expected to complete a written and oral examination at the end of Year 12 French, so you may be asking yourself how you can prepare and stay on track when it comes to your exam preparation.

The oral examination can be for some students one of the most intimidating parts of choosing to study level Year 12 French, as you will be expected to be speaking in French for the length of the 15 minute exam.

Part of the oral exam includes a discussion section which requires some comprehension and listening skills, however there is also a component of the written exam that involves a listening section as well.

Therefore getting in as much listening practice as you can is a great way to increase and develop your knowledge of vocabulary and develop your proficiency. There are a few different ways you can practice your listening skills, let's take a look at what you can do:

  • Watch French TV and movies: Tip - check out the foreign language movies on YouTube and Netflix
  • Listen to French radio, news and podcasts: Tip - you can find great resources by watching SBS live news or SBS OnDemand
  • Listen to French music: Tip - explore French music on YouTube and Spotify by doing a couple of quick searches
  • Observe a conversation class: Tip - you can always ask some of your friends from French class if they could practice their together while you listen in
  • Practice listening test: Tip - head to your VCE, SACE or WACE website to access a past listening test and challenge yourself at home, try out a few different levels

These are just a few quick tips and tricks to help you stay on track with your study Years 11 & 12 French, there are plenty of online resources that you can explore. Don't forget to ask your teacher or French tutor about their knowledge, skills and expertise as well.

Look for interesting texts that can expose you to new and interesting vocabulary, this can help improve your reading and writing skills.
Ask your tutor or teacher if they have any cool magazines or travel guides for you to check out. (Source: Pixabay - 7089643)

Where can French take me?

You may be wondering what the benefits of having French as a second language can do for you once you finish your exams There are a number of international opportunities that you could pursue if you were interested in continuing your journey as a French student.

For example, you could investigate what you would need to do if you wanted to do a diploma of French in a place like Quebec in Canada, or explore other levels of education options in other French-speaking places.

If you don't feel quite ready to pursue French at university but have a love for speaking la langue française you could also join the Alliance Française in cities like Melbourne. At the Alliance Française you can do different levels and courses such as the; DELF, DALF, Diplome de Francais, TCF and TEF.

Check out one of our other articles to learn more about the official qualifications you can pursue there as a French student. There are also plenty of places across Australia where you can find a language learning centre local to you, or you could find your own private French tutor with us here at Superprof.

Of course, the most obvious place speaking French can take you is France! You can visit France one day and practice your new conversation skills with some locals and enjoy delicious cheeses and croissants. You may also one day become a fluent speaker and find yourself applying for jobs in France.

We also have plenty of other amazing subjects you can choose to pursue here with us at Superprof, remember that your first lesson is free as well!

Take a look at some of the fabulous tutors we have available here at Superprof, there is also the option of online lessons which can often be SACE or WACE students as know you're pressed for time when it comes to studying!

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Sophie

A lover of learning, Sophie is currently studying a masters and working part-time in Melbourne.